Paper Details Paper Code: CC-CLA-V2-15 Category: Case Commentary Date of Submission for First Review: March 28, 2022 Date of Acceptance: July 6, 2022 Citation: R. Rochana, “Grant of Permanent Injunction against Owner of the Property”, 2, AIJACLA, 168, 168-170 (2022). Author Details: B. Rachana, Student, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University
Abstract Permanent injunction is granted as per section 38 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. The present case deals with the distinction between consequential relief and substantive relief in brief. It gives valuable insight over whether permanent injunction can be issued against true owner or not and when it can be a lawful possession. Having many stages right from trail court to Supreme Court, this case is important from procedural point of view as well. In general, if a court decides that there is no title and the documents furnished as evidence are true and valid, then other reliefs which are deemed fit will be granted depending upon the facts and circumstances. But at this very juncture, courts may err in granting such injunction. A clear understanding of this is provided in the present case. This case is a civil appeal before the Supreme Court of India. Keywords: Permanent Injunction; Specific Relief; Indian Judiciary; Property
Name of the case: Padhiyar Prahladji Chenaji (Deceased) Through L.R.s v. Maniben Jagmalbhai (deceased) Through L.R.s and Ors.
Citation: 2022 SCC Online SC 258
Bench: Justice M.R. Shah, Justice B.V. Nagarathna
FACTS OF THE CASE
Maniben Jagmalbhai is original plaintiff (respondent in this appeal) in the present case and the dispute is with regard to agricultural land. The husband of original plaintiff executed a sale deed on 17.06.1975 in favour of original defendant i.e. Padhiyar Prahladji Chenaji (appellant in this appeal), with proper consideration paid to the original plaintiff. The defendant authorized some construction projects in that land of 6 acres 15 guntas and took loan from the bank keeping this purchased land as collateral security. The name of the first defendant mutated in the revenue record in the same year of execution. There upon, in 1999 the husband of the original plaintiff died and plaintiff, after 22 years, instituted regular civil suit for cancellation of the registered sale deed, declaration of title and permanent injunction. Trail Court granted a permanent injunction restraining defendants from disturbing possession of plaintiffs. The first appellate court upheld the decision of trial court. A second appeal is filed before the High Court and it dismissed the appeal filed by defendant. Aggrieved by the decision, defendant filed a civil appeal before the Supreme Court.
Whether the relief of cancellation of sale deed is barred by limitation
Whether grant of permanent injunction is consequential relief or substantive relief
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST
Mr. Pallav Shishodia, learned counsel appearing for appellant (original defendant) argued that the trial court erred in granting the relief of permanent injunction to protect the alleged possession of the plaintiff. It is further submitted by him that it is unjust and contrary to section 38 read with section 41 of the Specific Relief Act. The learned counsel contended that once the plaintiff failed to get declaration of title and cancellation of registered sale deed, the relief for permanent injunction was a consequential relief and as such the plaintiff shall not be entitled to any protection for the alleged possession. Further, the suit is barred by limitation as the plaintiff challenged the sale deed after 22 years from the date of execution of the sale deed.
On the other hand, Shri Rahim, learned counsel appearing for respondent (original plaintiff) submitted that, trial court granted permanent injunction after appreciation of evidence on record both oral and documentary. Relying upon a decision of Supreme Court, it is submitted that plaintiff is in settled possession and the remedy available for defendant is to file a substantive suit to get relief of possession.
The Court allowed the appeal filed by the original defendant (the Appellant in this case) and held that the plaintiff is not entitled to any injunction and/or protects his possession against the rightful owner. The Plaintiff (the Respondent in this appeal) had failed to get the declaratory relief and the cancellation of sale deed. The court had relied upon the case of A. Subramanian v. R. Pannerselvam where it was observed that “a person in possession of the land in the assumed character of owner and exercising peaceably the ordinary rights of ownership has a perfectly good title against the entire world but the rightful owner”.
Further, in Para 8.3 it is said that “once the suit is held to be barred by limitation qua the declaratory relief and when the relief for permanent injunction was a consequential relief, the prayer for permanent injunction, which was a consequential relief can also be said to be a barred by limitation”. It is the plaintiff who has to aver and prove that the suit filed by them is within the period of limitation as prescribed. Also, the counsel for Respondent relied upon the case of Anathula Sudhakar can only be considered if the possession is “lawful”. The entire suit filed by the plaintiff is therefore dismissed.
The decision rendered by the Apex court is stressing upon a very significant area of law. It is true that consequential relief and substantive relief are different from each other. It is therefore clear that, if the title of suit property is not declared in favour of plaintiff and the sale deed is held to be lawful, there is no question of issuing permanent injunction restraining the defendant from disturbing the possession of plaintiff. Court had clearly mentioned that even a permanent injunction can be granted against true owner only when the person seeking the relief is in lawful possession of the suit property. It depends upon facts and circumstances of case whether it is correct to issue an injunction of such nature or not. But in the present case, it is clearly visible that the courts are erred in granting permanent injunction over the suit property, even when the title is with the defendant. This interpretation and understanding made by the court is insightful.